Google smart contact lens gives diabetics a less painful glucose monitor

January 16, 2014
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Google X, Google's secretive experimentation branch, has been known for some outlandish ideas, some of which eventually land as actual products. This time, however, the team has a more down to earth goal with its new smart contact lenses
that will hopefully provide a more effortless way to keep tabs on sugar levels.

Diabetics are in a constant struggle to maintain their glucose levels within a certain range but current methods available are not exactly encouraging. There are glucose sensors available that can be embedded under the skin, but the most common method involves drawing blood by pricking a finger and feeding the blood into a portable monitor.

Google is proposing a new kind of monitor, one that is tiny enough to be enclosed within contact lenses. Scientists hold that some body fluids, tears in particular, can also be used to monitor glucose levels. These tears will be analyzed by minuscule glucose sensors sitting in between two layers of soft contact lens material. Data, which is generated per second, is then transmitted via a very tiny wireless chip also sandwiched between the layers. Google is considering putting some LED lights to signal dangerous levels, but that might be the extent as far as in-eye display goes.

Unlike with Google Glass, Google is planning to take on partners for this endeavor, those who have more experience in putting out a product like this in the market. And it seems that Google is quite serious in this project. It is also in discussion with the FDA to make sure all their medical and legal bases are covered when they finally do launch this smart contact lens to the public.

SOURCE: Google


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  • Ray Dejesus

    That is awesome because I am diabete and it hard to keep my auger on the right level it hard great idea Google

  • Chris Johnson

    That would be incredible. I’m currently using a Dexcom and it works very well – this could be even better. I wonder how long they would last… and how fast they could bring it to market. In the US, contacts are prescription only, combine that with all the other FDA crap that would have to go on to get it approved… it could be awhile.

    Please google… I’m happy to even help test…

  • Jim Kelly

    Echo Therapeutics has developed a much more practical glucose monitor. It’s a transdermal sensor that just attaches to your skin and doesn’t use a needle like the current Dexcom or Medtronic systems. You don’t have to put anything in your eyes, either. After 10 years of development Echo is getting their glucose sensor approved in Europe in April, and doing their final FDA trial in the U.S. later this year.

    • http://islandinthenet.com/ Khürt L. Williams

      I agree, @disqus_k6EW6RWFVq:disqus . The Echo Therapeutic device may be more practical.